Common name: Fairy Grass, Yakka Grass
Sporobolus caroli Mez APNI*
Description: Caespitose annual or perennial to 0.6 m high.
Culms ascending, sometimes branched, ribbed, glabrous; nodes ribbed, glabrous. Sheaths loose about culm, ribbed glabrous, sometimes upper margin scabrous or with rigid tubercle-based hairs 0.5–1 mm long; ligule a rim of hairs c. 0.5 mm long, with scattered hairs to 2.5 mm long towards each end; blade 3–17 cm long, to 4 mm wide, ribbed, midrib prominent, abaxial surface scattered with rigid tubercle-based hairs to 2 mm long, adaxial surface glabrous or with scattered rigid tubercle-based hairs to 2 mm long.
Inflorescence paniculate, open, ovate, 8–25 cm long, 16–20 cm wide, at maturity exserted and spreading; rachis ribbed, glabrous, lowest node with 6–9 branches, whorled; pedicels 1–6 mm long, smooth glabrous. Spikelets 1–2 mm long, terminal, often dark green-grey, floret 1 (rarely 2). Lower glume triangular, 0.5–1.5 mm long, subulate, hyaline; upper glume lanceolate, c. 1.5 mm long, subulate, 1–2-nerved, scabrous. Lemma lanceolate c. 1.5 mm long, subulate, 1-nerved, upper margin often hyaline; palea same length or slightly shorter than lemma, 2-lobed, 2-nerved, usually split between nerves, upper margins often hyaline.
Flowering: Flowers in response to rain.
Distribution and occurrence: Widespread, more common west of the Dividing Range.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, ST, NWS, CWS, SWS, NWP, SWP, NFWP, SFWP
Other Australian states: Qld Vic. S.A. N.T.
Can be distinguished from the introduced Sporobolus coromandelianus by having all spikelets in the inflorescence distinctly pedicellate.
Text by S.W.L. Jacobs & K.L. McClay (revised by P.G. Kodela, Dec 2009); updated Louisa Murray July 2012
Taxon concept: Grasses of New South Wales, Fourth Edition (2008).
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.